The League Management Company (LMC) in partnership with over the counter securities market operator, NASD Securities Exchange took a major step towards bringing private sector investment into the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) when on Monday, March 13; financial advisors were invited to bid for appointment to work with eight of the 20 NPFL Clubs shortlisted for the pilot project.
The financial advisors are to serve as consultants that will prepare the clubs to meet regulatory requirements for enlistment in the stock market and be eligible to attract investment either through being publicly quoted or attract direct financial investment from individuals or investment groups.
In making the process open and to attract the best industry experts, the LMC placed advertisement in two influential national newspapers, Thisday and Businessday on Monday, March 13 calling for expression of interest from qualified investment advisory experts.
Documents developed in the last three years by the LMC indicate that in the emerging prospectus for investment in the clubs, different models are being structured, some of which include fans’ ownership, outright and part acquisition through shareholding and privatization.
Chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko said, “We expect that at the completion of the process, clubs would be positioned to access seed funding for infrastructure development and operational capital in addition to instituting proper corporate governance structures that will provide the enabling environment to operate as commercial business entities without compromising sporting requirements”.
He further explained that the opening of the process to every qualified investment advisory company is to ensure that the clubs received the best preparation to meet regulatory requirements within the shortest possible time.
Dikko recalled that the eight clubs were unanimously approved at the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the LMC in Enugu on December 11, 2016 and listed the clubs as Rangers International, Enyimba International, Kano Pillars and El-Kanemi Warriors. Others are Wikki Tourists, Gombe United, Shooting Stars Sports Club and MFM FC.
The LMC had in 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NASD OTC Securities Exchange to create a platform for the listing of the clubs on the stock exchange and drive private sector investment in the clubs through a professional and transparent manner. The selected clubs were mandated to submit letter of consent from their respective state government owners as a basic requirement to start the process.
The advisers to be appointed would work with the clubs and their Government to prepare the required documentation and structure required for the listing of the clubs as well as to manage the process on behalf of the clubs.
Dikko added that a target date of August 2017 has been set for the completion of the listing process.